Saying “Mixed people are valid even if we feel unsure about our heritage.”
…and saying “White people who may-or-may-not-be-1/64th-non-white and don’t claim that heritage / only claim it to get a free pass when they’re being racist / self-identify as white are… still white.”
….aren’t actually contradicting statements.
- Johnny Depp saying he’s 1/64th Cherokee to justify his brownface in The Lone Ranger, when he’s never before claimed that identity? Still white (also, a racist).
- Rowan Blanchard being proud that she’s got a mixed race grandparent but saying that she identifies as white and has white privilege? A Lawful White™.
- Cody Christian, who actively chooses to identify as Native, puts Native first in his resume for acting jobs and has a strong connection to NA heritage thanks to his mom? Not white, even if he is white passing.
- White Latinxs (like Karla Souza, Ricardo Darín, Gael García Bernal, etc.) saying they’re proud of being Latinx and that they experience discrimination because of their nationality, their culture and/or their accent? Targeted by [Link: Racialized Xenophobia] outside of LatAm, but still white.
Being mixed has a lot to do with experience and self-identification, with deciding to claim that heritage and being somehow influenced by it. On the other hand, being white-passing is influenced by a lot of factors (name, accent, nationality, religion, cultural practices, etc.) and even white people might be read as non-white if they don’t adjust to the idea of what is “acceptable whiteness”.
So, yes, you are allowed to identify as mixed/not-white even if your relationship with your heritage is messy and complicated! [Read at the end of this post!] The point is, mixed people would struggle much less with our identity if we finally ended this stupid “We’re all mixed!” discourse that conflates our struggles with those of white people.
Anyways, most people whose families have spent more than a couple generations in post-colonial countries are, at least to some degree, mixed. Actually claiming a non-white heritage as an integral part of one’s identity is what distinguishes white-passing PoC from white people who say their great-great-great-great-grandmother was “””an Indian Princess””” for the anecdotic value.
If you’re mixed and you don’t know what you’re mixed with, you are valid.
If you always knew you were mixed but found out late in life what your exact heritage is and decided to reconnect with your ancestry, you are valid.
If you don’t feel like you have a claim over your nonwhite heritage due to diaspora/secretism/being white passing but still don’t feel comfortable labeling yourself as “white” and prefer to call yourself mixed, you are valid.
If you are not as visibly brown as the rest of your family, you are valid.
You are valid and being proud of your heritage is not bad.